Dog Day Dive
Joanne Faries
Doorknob Winner
Three years ago, the US Diving Committee introduced Kelli Brooks and Tara Spinelli to each other. "We want you for synchronized diving. Aim for Beijing."   

The twelve year olds sized each other up and agreed it was uncanny, like looking in a mirror - dark haired ponytails, slim bodies, purple nail polish. Both nodded.   

"You'll be working for gold. The Chinese have to be given their due. They're paired as toddlers, I swear," said Coach Dunham.   

With parental approval, the girls trained in Indiana. Morning runs, weightlifting, private tutors, gymnastics, and dive after dive after dive.   

Now, 2005, the two stood on the ten-meter platform at the Dallas Texas Invitational. "Outdoor diving in August. Who the hell booked this?" asked Kelli.   

"Some ass in air-conditioning," said Tara "Stifling heat, ozone air, it's like China." Her mouth spewed a lava torrent of curses.   

On the ground, Coach Dunham said, "Teen crap is killing me. Look at 'em. One dyed blonde, one red, a tattoo. Raging hormones. The mirror cracked."   

Another coach said, "They're fifteen. Three years, they'll carry the torch."   

"Right now, they're arsonists inflaming my ulcer." He wiped his brow. "Air's a breezy blast furnace, and we're going to combust. It's time."   

Signal given. In unison, Tara and Kelli strode, jumped, spun, twisted, and, twin-like, finished their incandescent dive with nary a splash.   

"Bask in simmering teen angst. You've got winners," muttered a sideline observer.   

"More like lobsters, Coach," said Tara awaiting scores.   

Kelli finished the statement, "Water's freakin' boiling."

First published: August, 2012
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